July 31, 2009

It’s blistering hot outside again, the weekend is nigh, so let’s keep it short and sweet. Two must-sees:

First up, Krakatoa. Simon Winchester’s marvelous book on this subject was a fantastic read – I read it two years ago while on vacation in Bermuda – and this article today brought the story back home for me. Check it out – the pictures alone are breathtaking. Enjoy!

In this era of mass communication and 24/7 images-are-everything cable/Internet news cycle, count on this photo to be circulated everywhere in the coming days and weeks. Talk about a picture saying a thousand words! The true character of President Barack Obama revealed for all to see in all its breathtaking arrogance and lack of compassion.

Thomas Lifson nails the potential impact of this photo in the upcoming health-0care reform debate:

I am stunned that the official White House Blog published this picture and that it is in the public domain. The body language is most revealing.

Sergeant Crowley, the sole class act in this trio, helps the handicapped Professor Gates down the stairs, while Barack Obama, heedless of the infirmities of his friend and fellow victim of self-defined racial profiling, strides ahead on his own. So who is compassionate? And who is so self-involved and arrogant that he is oblivious?

I think this photo constitutes another major Obama blunder.

As some [American Thinker] commentators point out, this picture becomes a metaphor for ObamaCare. The elderly are left in the back, with only the kindness of the Crowleys of the world, the stand up guys, to depend on. The government has other priorities.

…I think he is going to get deeper and deeper into trouble. He is no longer repeating the familiar scripts dreamed up for the campaign. He was a master performer.

But when he goes improv, as a president must do, he lets his true character show. This helps widen the level of doubt that Obama is the same guy a majority voted for. Those doubts can only grow.

Think about it: look at the photo again and ask the question that positively begs here: this is the guy leading the charge on “reforming” the nation’s health care in his own image? Elitist. Arrogant.

That’s not just your soon-to-be single-payor healthcare provider, that’s your President.

One other question: as Lifson so accurately points out, what does it say about the White House communications office that they’d even let a photo like this see the light of day?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 16:44 | Comments (3)
July 30, 2009

Andy McCarthy of National Review Online has a must-read regarding the whole controversy regarding Barack Obama’s citizenship and birth certificate. No one I’ve read has so even-handedly and succinctly put the controversy in its proper place. You may agree with his piece or not, but the fact is no modern-day president has ever been elected with so little of his life and background known, and the media’s dereliction of duty in this regard has been shameful. If you read anything today, make it this.

It’s official: Nancy Pelosi is as wacked out as a drunken rat. To single out the insurance companies as everything that’s (supposedly) wrong with the nation’s health care system is beyond absurd, it’s positively irrational. To think this is your elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is frightening.

I could have told you this was going to happen. And these are the same folks that want to reform your health care system? Madre di Dios!

…Again, just as with the so-called “stimulus” bill passed earlier this year – check this story out – wouldn’t everyone be better off if the government just started cutting checks to the taxpayers instead of devising ridiculous schemes and programs that don’t stand an icicle’s chance in Hell of working?

Unlike the sanctimonious vultures in the Boston sports media who love nothing more than pass their elitist judgments on people and dish the dirt however they can, I’m gonna hold off judgment on David “Big Papi” Ortiz testing positive for PEDs in 2003 until all the facts are in. BP has always been a straight shooter with the media and the fans, I’m willing to give him a chance to explain his side of things before I start casting stones.

…After all, maybe it was something as simple as this.

And for everyone to be focusing on Ortiz and not on Manny Ramirez (who, it just so happens, just completed a 50-game suspension for a positive PED test not in 2003 but this year) just goes to show how misguided the national sports media is.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:49 | Comments Off on Thursday Stuff
July 29, 2009

Today was almost – almost – downright pleasant, the temp dropping to a bone-chilling 108. After the 115s of the last few days, believe me, we’ll take it!

I think the heat has gotten to the idiots we’ve elected here in AZ to run the state. The state is in such a hole financially that now they’re talking about selling some of the state Capitol buildings. Personally, I think it’s a great idea – I’d even go for selling the Capitol itself. Everyone else is cutting back and belt-tightening, government should be able to do the same thing. The less in size and shape, the better.

So the esteemed head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is now talking about a “two track” arrangement where churches that ordain actively gay clergy and consecrate same-sex unions can somehow peacefully co-exist alongside so-called “orthodox” churches that don’t favor that sort of thing as a way to avoid schism. My take: why stop there? Why not a three-track arrangement for churches that promote incest and beastiality, or a four-track arrangement for churches that allow polygamy. I mean, how stupid is this? Why bother with any pretense that you actually hold any kind of belief in anything?

If there’s one thing I can’t tolerate is wishy-washy institutions. Say what you believe and believe what you say. Otherwise, why bother to even exist in the first place? Today’s Anglican Communion is an embarrassment, and the odd duck who heads it symbolizes the sad state it finds itself in.

When a President loses the trust of the American people it’s a damned hard thing to get back again. For someone trumpeted by his a$$-kissers in the mainstream media as a genius and savior, Barack Obama has shown himself to be pretty tone-deaf politically. Most people don’t believe the nation’s health-care system is broken. Certainly it needs some tweaking, but I sure as hell don’t want it “fixed” by extending coverage to illegal aliens, providing abortion on demand, and having bureaucrats rationing the care of the elderly. Like Arizona, the federal government should be doing what everyone else is doing – i.e., cutting back on spending, and cutting taxes to put more money in the pockets of the people who need it and would like to spend it.

…Of course, we all know that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.

Hmmm… Wasn’t it yours truly who first compared Obama to Richard Nixon? Nobody listens to me, but then again everyone in the Goodboys Nation knows no one listens to The Great White Shank.

It’s official: The Great White Shank and the wife are comin’ to New Orleans for a visit in late September. I can’t wait!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:25 | Comments (2)
July 28, 2009

Everyone has a “life song”, right? Well, this is mine:

I’m a cork on the ocean
Floating over the raging sea
How deep is the ocean?
How deep is the ocean?
I lost my way, hey hey hey

I’m a rock in a landslide
Rolling over the mountainside
How deep is the valley?
How deep is the valley?
It kills my soul, hey hey hey

I’m a leaf on a windy day
Pretty soon I’ll be blown away
How long will the wind blow?
How long will the wind blow?
Until I die
These things I’ll be until I die

As a commenter said of this particular clip, “This is the sound of death and love all twisted into one.”

I couldn’t say it better myself. You can’t see yourself staying, but you don’t want to leave, either. That’s what makes it a life song.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:49 | Comments Off on Life Song
July 27, 2009

Today was as hot as I can ever remember it being around here. The thermometer on our patio showed 114, but the next door neighbor had it at 117, and the lady I was talking to at the supermarket had 119 in her backyard. Either way, once you get above 110 all you can really do is close the blinds and ride it out. Tomorrow looks like more of the same.

Apologies out out to my blogging bud Dave E – this new version of WordPress sometimes gets screwy when it comes to comments. Both Dave (and Jana as well) left comments a while back that should have sailed right through but I ended up having to approve them tonight, weeks after the fact. Kinda defeats the whole purpose of commenting, doesn’t it? Well hopefully that’s all taken care of now, and I’m glad to hear Dave’s mom was doing better last we heard.

BTW, Dave’s series on the Apollo moon landing 40 years ago was an informative and entertaining read. I wish I could say I remember a lot about a such a momentous occasion, but I don’t. I was 14 at the time and the only thing I cared about back in 1969 was baseball and music. I remember seeing the landing on TV but that’s really it. Pretty sad when you think about it, I think…

Come to think of it, I do remember a science project on the Apollo capsule and the LEM. I remember a collaboration with my classmate (and future Instamatic Vibration bandmate) Ken Sandler, but since science was never my forte, I think my contribution was covering the outside of our model LEM with tinfoil and letting Ken do the “heavy lifting” and the presentation.

Today at the pool supply place I heard one of those funky medley remixes combining The Doors’ “Riders On the Storm” and Blondie’s “Rapture”. Talk about a pair of odd ducks! It was pretty hideous. Just goes to show what technology will let you do nowadays. What’s next? Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life” and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”?

This doesn’t surprise me. Just another reason why Pope Benedict XVI is my man – he’s not afraid to taske action when he thinks it’s necessary.

Isn’t it about time Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame restore Pete Rose’s eligibility? I mean, compared to Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Manny Ramirez…

As much as I hate them, ya gotta admit the Yankess are H-O-T hot right now.

Let’s just say I believe Israel. Things are gonna get pretty interesting in the Middle East before the end of this year.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:52 | Comments (7)
July 26, 2009

The pool is still 96 degrees at 11 PM. The air is hotter than that because, believe it or not, the water actually feels cooler to the touch. How is that possible, you ask? Well check this out.

How to describe this time of year? Walking outside tonight to bring the trash barrel out felt like opening the door to a mammoth oven. I can’t believe my petunias are still hanging in there. Good for them.

I watched the MLB Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on the MLB network today. Rickey Henderson’s and Jim Rice’s speeches were both well done, and hearing Joe Gordon’s daughter describing her father and his contributions to the game brought tears to my eyes. There was a lot of class up there on the stage today.

Watching that sure beat watching the Red Sox and John Smoltz puking up the equivalent of another baseball hairball today. Maybe it’s just me – Terry Francona obviously appears to disagree – but watching Smoltz toss one meatball after another doesn’t give me a whole lot of confidence in his future with the Red Sox right now.

And as hard as it is for me to write this, I think Jason Varitek is done. His bat looks awfully old right now.

This is a joke, right? If I’m President Obama, I’d have two words for North Korea: screw you.

It’s a little too late for all this as far as I’m concerned, but count me among those who don’t believe for a minute that Barack Obama is a U.S.-born citizen.

This sounds like a good idea to me.

Rob has to be happy – football season is finally here. Me, I’m picking the Steelers to go all the way again this year.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:46 | Comments (5)
July 23, 2009

Lots to cover now that I’m back in the saddle again.

Do the Goodboys know how to pick the weather weekend or not? One week later and we’d be fishing haddock out of our golf bags.

Obama overexposed? Surely that’s a rhetorical question, right? He’s freakin’ everywhere, to the point if I see his mug I change the channel immediately. Heck, I half expect him on the next Crest commercial selling teeth whitener toothpaste. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this guy has been fondled so much by the mainstream media he actually believes he’s the “Anointed One”. His ego is so big they’re going to need a special annex at the Smithsonian to house it.

I didn’t see The One’s presser last night, but from accounts it was a disaster for him politically. Memo to the President: if you’re gonna call a prime-time press conference, for gawdsakes have something to say and articulate it in a way that warrants the setting.

Memo #2 to Barack Obama: you’re the President, dude. You won the election. Don’t you know your words now have consequences?

I told you this would happen. Just wait, the great exodus has only just begun.

Read T.J. English’s Havana Nocturne during my vacation. One of the most entertaining and informative books I’ve ever read. Highly recommended.

OK, I’ll admit it – I am, and was always an ABBA fan. I’ll never go to see “Mamma Mia” – not my style – but ever since I fell in lust with a girl back in 1975 when “Waterloo” was popular I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart whenever I hear an ABBA tune. Lots of great sounds and catchy hooks. My favorite? It’s this – check out the cool lighting behind those ABBA chicks. How could any red-blooded American male watch that and not immediately fall into lust? Phew. That doe-eyed blonde always made my knees knock…

I think that video even beats this one. Question of the day: what is it about doe-eyed ’70s chicks that turns The Great White Shank into a bowl of quivering jello?

Filed in: Politics & World Events,Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 18:18 | Comment (1)
July 22, 2009

I’m back here in the Valley of the Sun after a fine week on the East Coast. It’s easy to take the technological marvels of the day for granted, but it never ceases to amaze me how one can wake up in a cloudy and drizzly 65-degree Massachusetts and just hours later find yourself in the Arizona desert under a blazing sun and looking at a thermometer registering 111 degrees.

So where to begin? Well, the Goodboys successfully navigated their way through the 19th incarnation of the Goodboys Invitational weekend, and in fine form. The weather gods once again smiled on the Goodboys, bringing a weekend that featured sweltering heat on Friday, a transitional day on Saturday, and a drop-dead gorgeous ten bells 80-degree Sunday with bright sun and a refreshing breeze. The courses chosen by Exec-Comm provided a variety of golf challenges – Pease was wide-open and accessible to most, Breakfast Hill tight and woodsy, and The Ledges a fantastic and challenging track set among rolling hills and a course that everyone agreed was one of the nicest to have ever hosted a Goodboys event.

So who won? Well, there were several winners: the golf ball manufacturers of America, who certainly won by extracting their usual pound of flesh, especially from yours truly and Ron “Cubby” Myerow. The patrons at McMenemy’s Irish Pub in Portsmouth were certainly winners, witnessing a wonderful bar-long Irish jig performed by Steve “Killer” Kowalski, the result of him losing a humiliation bet made with Ben “The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis. Those who went low this weekend were also winners: Jay “Crusher” Spielberg won an authentic Augusta National Masters golf umbrella for being low man against his allotted handicap this weekend, and Paul “Possum” Shepter won a nice (well, somewhat nice) book about the Masters tournament for being second lowest.

The biggest winners, of course, was the winning team of TFG and Crusher, who, by showing all the lads how it’s done and prevailing against all comers and pretenders, took home the coveted Spielberg Memorial Trophy. For Crusher it was his third Goodboys championship. For TFG it was his fourth, and first in ten years. Given the fact that his last title was ten years ago also in Portsmouth (in 1999 when the Goodboys also played Pease), one would have to say the NH seacoast seems to suit both his game and his golf sensibilities.

On the losing side, Kevin “Goose” Dwyer remains “Best Goodboy to have never won a Goodboys Invitational”, the monkey remaining firmly attached to his back after he and his partner Mike “Vegas” Clark finished third out of six. And, given that defending champs Possum and Pat “Doggy Duval” McLaughlin finished a disappointing fifth, one must also consider them at least lovable losers given their inability to become the first repeat Goodboys champs. Of course, when it comes to the Goodboys Invitational, there are no real losers – after all, anytime a group of friends can find the time to get together and renew this special tradition of a weekend of golf, cocktails, and hijinx every third weekend of July everyone’s a winner.

So comes down the curtain on the 19th annual Goodboys Invitational. Next year it’s the big 2-0, and the GBs have already decided a return visit to Portsmouth – and The Ledges – is not only warranted but desirable. Between now and then there’s a lot of water left to flow and a lot of snow to fall, of course, but for the Goodboys that’s OK – especially for them, absence always makes the heart grow fonder.

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 20:41 | Comments (2)
July 16, 2009

It’s the Thursday before the Goodboys Invitational – “Christmas Eve” in Goodboys parlance, and it looks as if we’ll be playing between the drops this weekend. The New England weather has been quite pleasant thus far, however – a far cry from the blistering heat that continues back home this week – and, while there are few things in life I enjoy less than playing golf in the rain, it sure beats doing it in 110+ degree temps. I’ve done both, so I know!

It’s been a crazy week outside of the ‘Nation, however. Is it just me, or does it feel as if the whole world around us is beyond wacked out?

Question of the day. If it wasn’t for the weather and the coast, why would anyone want to live in California? Talk about a state totally screwed up.

The Episcopal Church (TEC) signals its inevitable expulsion from the worldwide Anglican Communion by pushing ahead with its intent to resume ordaining openly-gay clergy. It will be a pyrrhic victory, however, for the feminist and gay and lesbian activists who have controlled the Church and steered it away from the teachings and traditions of orthodox Christianity over the past three decades. One can only wonder what they will have left to preside over as people continue to leave this so-called “church” in droves, leaving it with even more money problems than it already has.

…But I’ve long given up the thought that TEC even cares anymore about its supposed mission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At least now what TEC really stands for is there for all to see. Make no mistake about it – this is all about feeling good about the sexual choices gays and lesbians make and the lifestyle choices they embrace, nothing more. Don’t believe me? This, this, and this and this should tell you everything you need to know.

Heard about the radical plan House Democrats are pushing fast and hard to nationalize health care? Bet you didn’t think it would ultimately outlaw private insurance, did you? Well, Investor’s Business Daily is doing the legwork the mainstream media ought to be doing, and the plan is nothing but legislated insanity. Ed Morrissey has all the details and some thoughts.

…But you won’t hear about this from anyone in the mainstream media – they’re more concerned with other pressing matters – like this.

Hard to see how this aspect of the Democrats’ plan is going to do anything but incite class warfare. What the Democrats in Congress know about macro and micro economics you couldn’t fit on the head of a pin. This is not just beyond incompetent and stupid – it’s dangerous and a threat to this country’s long-term economic stability.

Reading this made me sick. What kind of culture produces this kind of thing? Oh, I forgot, this.

Good for Tom Watson. Wouldn’t it be something if he could hold it together for all four days?

…And with that, your humble correspondent is off for some fried clams and Christmas Eve with the Goodboys, followed by three days of golf and the usual madness that surrounds a Goodboys Invitational weekend.

God willing, I’ll be back in one piece to report on it all for you come Monday. Y’all come back now, y’hear?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 08:13 | Comments Off on Now You See Me…
July 12, 2009

On Monday I’ll be jetting back east for Goodboys Invitational week. Lots of golf and golf preparation, little or no work to have to do, and a time for rest and relaxation. I’ll be posting throughout the week as the 2009 Goodboys Invitational looms ever closer, so keep a watch on these parts for all the last-minute news and views as The Great White Shank prepares for this year’s event.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:50 | Comments Off on On Vacation


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